Roman Republic

Rome in the Early Republic (509 - 241 BC)

Topic: Temple(s) of Honos and Virtus

Roman Cults of Honos and Virtus

Denarius (RRC 329/1) issued by P. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus in 100 BC

Obverse: Head of Hercules Respiciens;

Reverse: a male, togate figure (who holds cornucopia) crowns a female warrior (who wears a distinctive helmet

and  holds a spear): probably Honos crowning Virtus (see below); laurel-wreath as border; inscription LENT.MAR.F

According to Lawrence Richardson (referenced below, at p. 245):

  1. “Honos and Virtus first appear on coins in the monuments that survive.  They come as early as 100 BC on [the reverse of] a denarius [illustrated above] showing ... Virtus crowned by Honos.”

Richardson acknowledged that Michael Crawford (referenced below, at p. 329 and p. 409), for example, had identified the female figure on the reverse as Roma and the figure crowning her as possibly the Genius populi Romani (see also this web page ‘Decrypting Crawford RRC’).  However, he argued that:

  1. similar iconographies used for Roma and Virtus and also for the Genius populi Romani and Honos; and

  2. in this case, the identity of the moneyer, who was a direct descendant of M. Claudius Marcellus (cos I, 222 BC, see below), indicates that he had celebrated his famous ancestor by depicting Honos and Virtus.

I discuss the links between the Claudii Marcelli and the cults of Honos and Virtus  below: for the moment, we should merely note that Richardson’s view is now generally accepted (see, for example, Myles McDonnell, referenced below, at p. 148 and Mathieu Jacotet, referenced below, p. 515, note 33).  Anna Clark (referenced below, at pp. 284-5) listed three Roman temples that were dedicated to Honos and/or Virtus during the Republic (each of which is discussed below).  As we shall see, the most important of these was the temple of Honos and Virtus outside Porta Capena, which were established in the period 233 - 205 BC. 

The earliest surviving reference to the temple of Honos and Virtus outside Porta Capena is in a passage by Cicero (ca. 45 BC) in which he described a philosophical debate about the Roman practice of venerating personifications of human qualities such as these: the stoic, ‘Balbus’, chose these two cult and the cults of Fides (faithfulness) and Mens (intelligence) as exemplars in making the case for the defence:

  1. Many ... divinities ... have, with good reason,  been recognised and named by both the wisest men of Greece and our [own] ancestors [because of] the great benefits that they bestow.  For, it was thought that anything that confers great utility on the human race must be due to the operation of divine benevolence towards men. ... In [some] cases, an exceptionally potent force is itself given a divine name [in recognition of the fact that is properly the subject of veneration]:

  2. For example, [consider] Fides and Mens:

  3. we see, on the Capitol, the shrines:

  4. -recently dedicated to them both by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus; [although]

  5. -Fides had previously been deified (consecrata) by A. Atilius Calatinus.

  6. You can [also] see the temple of Virtus and [the temple] of Honos [outside Porta Capena]:

  7. restored (renovatum) by M. Marcellus; and

  8. dedicated (dedicatum) by Q. Maximus many years earlier, during the war with Liguria”, (‘On the Nature of the Gods’, 2: 60-1, translated by H. Harris Rackham, referenced below, at pp. 181-3).

St. Augustine later explained this philosophy to his Christian readers: the pre-Christian Romans had believed that a number of important personal attributes:

  1. “... are granted to no-one unless they are bestowed by a [particular] god.  [They therefore] called these gods, whose names they did not know, by the names of [the gifs that they were deemed to bestow].  ... [For example], the goddess who gives money is called Pecunia, [although] money itself is not thought to be a goddess.  [The  same principle underlies the naming] of: Virtus, who gives virtue; Honos, who gives honour; Concordia, who gives concord; and Victoria, who gives victory”, (‘City of God’, 2: 24).

However, Augustine did not do justice to the nature of the argument articulated by ‘Balbus’: Katharine Breen (referenced below, at p. 41) observed that:

  1. “Balbus bases his argument ... in part on the social position of those who support these cults, naming prominent citizens who have recently paid to renovate or construct shrines to [Fides, Mens, Virtus and Honus] as evidence of the bona fides of these divinities.  Pointing a renovated temple that was evidently visible from the portico of Cotta’s mansion, he suggests that the social and architectural fabric of Rome itself authorises the worship of divine personifications [such as Virtus and Honos].”

Cicero’s purpose in the passage abovewas not primarily to record historical data about the temples of Fides and Mes on the Capitol and Honos and Virtus outside Porta Capena : as Katharine Breen (referenced below, at pp. 41-2) pointed out:

  1. “... the title of Cicero’s work indicates [that ‘Balbus’ and the other participants in this philosophical debate] are primarily concerned with the nature of the gods: that is to say, with the kinds of beings [that can be] properly venerated as divinities.”

Thus, in this passage, ‘Balbus’ argued that Fides and Honos were demonstrably worthy of veneration because men of the calibre of A. Atilius Calatinus and Q. Maximus had dedicated temples to them, and that others of similar calibre subsequently restored them.  Furthermore, the very fact that these men fostered the respective cults indicated that:

  1. “Rather than being primitive or naïve, the cults of divine personifications demonstrate rationality and cultural advancement. ... Even more strikingly, ‘Balbus’ argues in favour of the divinisation of abstractions as a [relatively] recent, indeed ongoing, religious practice.  For ‘Balbus’, deification is ... an explicitly human act, performed through individual and collective ritual practices.  Indeed, the verb ‘consecro’, which he used to describe Calatinus’ deification of [Fides], means, [according to Lewis and Short]:

  2. ‘... to dedicate, devote something as sacred to a deity’; and

  3. [of persons, and thus, presumably, of personifications], ‘to elevate to the rank of deity, to place among the gods, to deify’.”

In short, by dedicating the first temple of Fides in Rome, Calatinus had effectively pronounced the deification of this personification.  (Cicero’s choice of the verb dedico rather than consecro for the dedication of the temple of Honos outside Porta Capena might reflect the fact that he believed that the first Roman temple of Honos had been the one that had been situated outside Porta Collina - see below).

Honos (or Honoris)

Denarius (RRC 473/2) issued by Lollius Palicanus in 45 BC

Obverse: Head of Honoris, identified by inscription; Reverse: Curule chair

While some scholars assume that Honos was simply an abstract personal quality possessed by men of honour and/or dignity, Mathieu Jacotot (referenced below) argued that the following passage by Propertius (ca. 23 BC) points in a different direction:

  1. “What the envious crowd disallows me in my lifetime, Honos will repay with double interest after my death.  Time makes all things greater after death: a man’s name sounds greater on people’s lips after his funeral”, (‘Elegies’, 3: 21-4, translated by George Goold, referenced below, at p. 223).

This led Jacotot to argue (at p. 513) that Honos is associated with:

  1. “... the concrete marks of honour conferred [in the case of Propertius] on poets.  Iconographic representations of Honos also point in this direction: [he] is represented as a young man, with short hair, shirtless or wearing a toga.  He often wears a crown of bay or oak leaves, objects that are, in a military context, marks of honour awarded for a [military] exploit.  [Honos] frequently holds a horn of plenty, which evokes the  generosity with which he dispenses ... [military] honours.  ... Honos is associated in some representations with [specific] types of honour:

  2. a coin of of Lollius Palicanus [illustrated above] has  a head of Honos on the obverse and a curule chair on the reverse [symbolising the highest magisterial honours]; and

  3. [in a relief] on the northern pylon of the Arch of  Titus (1st century AD), Honos accompanies the triumph of the emperor [as he receives the highest military honour]”, (my translation).

The evidence from the denarii of Palicanus needs further explanation: according to Michael Crawford (referenced below, at pp. 482-3), the moneyer Palicanus was probably the son of M. Lollius Palicanus,  a ‘new man’ who served as:

  1. plebeian tribune in 71 BC); and

  2. praetor in 69 BC.

He interpreted the iconography of these denarii as a celebration of the achievement of the elder Lollius in winning the honour of curule office in 69 BC.


Denarius serratus (RRC 401/1) issued by Manius Aquillius  in 71 BC

Obverse: Head of Virtus, identified by inscription;

Reverse: warrior raising a fallen figure, identified by inscription as M͡N·AQVIL M͡N·F·M͡N·N’; inscription SICIL

According to Michael Crawford (referenced below, at p. 412), the reverse commemorates the role played by

the moneyers’ homonymous grandfather (cos 101 BC), who ended the Sicilian slave war

Mathieu Jacotot (referenced below, at pp. 307-8):

  1. Virtus is fundamentally the quality of a man (vir) and therefore associated with manliness ... [and]  orientated towards the manifestation of the bravery and physical courage ... There is, therefore, a causal link between virtus and honos, since bravery is the main, if not the exclusive, source of  honour in a military context.  This link is confirmed by the fact that, in religious worship, the gods Honos  and Virtus are very often associated with the each other, the first embodying the rightful tribute paid to the second”, (my translation).

Myles McDonnell (referenced below) made a similar point by entitling his book Roman Manliness’: ‘Virtus’ and the Roman Republic”.  He also pointed out (at 213) that:

  1. “Conceptually, the relationship between virtus and honos is straightforward enough: in Roman culture, demonstrations of prowess in battle (virtus) were rewarded by

  2. -election to public office; and

  3. -the prestige [that public] office conferred; and

  4. both of [these] were denoted by honos.”

In other words, displays of virtus were often rewarded by honos, the honour of public office, a sentiment captured on the reverse of the denarius RRC 329/1 (above), in which Virtus is crowned by Honos.  However, McDonnell pointed out that:

  1. “... [it is doubtful that] Virus and Honos had been connected in cult before Marcellus’ [putative vow to Honos and Virtus in 222 BC - see below].”

Original Temples of Honos

Location of the Temples of Honos outside Porta Collina and outside Porta Capena

From the website of Digital Augustan Rome; my additions in red

Temple of Honos outside Porta Collina (3rd century BC)

The existence of this temple is known only from a record by Cicero (ca. 45 BC):

  1. “You know the temple of Honos outside the Porta Collina.  It is said that:

  2. there was [originally] an altar in that place; and

  3. when a lamina (plate) on which was inscribed  ‘honoris’ [belonging to Honos] was found nearby, [this] temple was dedicated.

  4. Since there were many graves in that place, they were dug up [in order to make way for the temple]: the college of priests decided that a public place [had been illegally appropriated for private rites]”, (‘On the Laws’, 2: 58, based on the translations  by Anna Clark, referenced below, at p. 64 and Mathieu Jacotot, referenced below, at p. 519).

This remark came in a passage on restrictions on places that could be used for burials:

  1. civic prohibited burial within the city walls except in exceptional circimastances; while

  2. pontifical law prohibited burial in other places such as this one, which had originally been (and therefore remained) consecrated ground. 

The information he provided about  the temple’s early history was this incidental.  However, as Anna Clark observed (at p. 65), Cicero is unlikely to have invented it, albeit that it was apparently not well-known at that time.

Although no remains of this temple have been found to date, Cicero’s testimony is supported by the discovery of an inscription (CIL VI 30913) that was found in 1872 under the present Ministry of Finance on the Quirinal: it recorded a donation to Honos made by Marcus Bicoleius, an ex-slave who had been freed by a man called Vibius:

[-] Bicoleio(s) V(ibi) l(ibertos) Honore/ donom dedet mereto

Mathieu Jacotot (referenced below, at p. 517) suggested that Bicoleius might well have made this dedication in order the thank Honos for the change in his status.  Both he and Marco Bruzzesi (referenced below, at p. 56 and note 104) argued that the inscription probably dated to the 3rd century BC, and the EDR database (see the link above) gave 230 - 200 BC.  Anna Clark (referenced below, at p. 65) argued that the  size of the inscription suggested that it had belonged to the temple (rather than to the putative altar): she agreed with Adam Ziolkowsk (referenced below, at p. 57), who argued that it  had probably been dedicated in the period 292 - 219 BC, for which Livy’s work has been lost.  

Marco Bruzzesi (as above) transcribed (at note 407) another inscription (CIL VI 31061) that was found near Porta Collina:

signu]m Virtuti de ea sum(ma) rest[itutum, quam…]ius Teseus Virtuti d(ono) [d(ederat)] 

This inscription clearly came from the base of a signum (statue) of Virtus.  Bruzzesi did not attempt to date it, but Myles McDonnnell (referenced below, at p. 214 and note 30), who inspected both inscriptions in the Museo Nazionale Romano at the Baths of Diocletian, argued that this one post-dated CIL VI 30913 and probably dated to the 2nd century BC.  In other words, it is possible that the temple of Honos here subsequently and additionally dedicated to Virtus.

The paucity of the surviving evidence makes it difficult to throw much light on the circumstances in which this temple was founded.  Anna Clark (referenced below, at p. 66) pointed out that it is unclear:

  1. “... whether:

  2. the building of the temple was caused by the discovery of the plate [mentioned by Cicero,  on which was inscribed  ‘honoris’]; or

  3. the ‘discovery’ was made in order to persuade those affected by the moving of the graves [to allow their removal from the site]. 

However, it is clear that the authorities attached a great deal of importance to the foundation of this temple.  Anna Clark (referenced below, at p. 66) suggested that:

  1. “The impetus behind the foundation, which the nature of [Cicero’s testimony] suggests was at communal expense, would fit well into the period of tension of the Punic Wars.”

Mathieu Jacotot (referenced below, at p. 520) also hypothesised that:

  1. “... the dedication of a temple in Honos is a manifestation of [the Romans’ particular] concern for rites and sacred law in periods when Rome is threatened.  Honos [offered particular benefits]  at a time of a war because he was able to contribute to the Romans’ success  by ensuring the victory and the honours that follow”, (my translation).

Temple of Honos outside Porta Capena (3rd century BC)

As we have seen, Cicero recorded that ‘Q. Maximus’ dedicated this temple of Honos during the war with Liguria.  A number of men of this name are known to us, all of whom belonged to the gens Fabia, and, fortunately, as Adam Ziolkowski (referenced below, at p. 59) pointed out, only one of them, Q. Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, is known to have fought against the Ligurians:

  1. the fasti Triumphales record that, in 233 BC, the consul Q. Fabius Q.f. Q.n. Maximus Verrucosus, triumphed over the Ligurians;

  2. Plutarch recorded that, in the battle that led to this triumph, Verrucosus:

  3. “... defeated [the Ligurians] in battle, inflicting heavy losses on them in the process, and they retired into the Alps, where they ceased plundering and harrying the adjacent parts of Italy”, (‘Life of Fabius Maximus’, 2: 1); and

  4. Gareth Sampson (referenced  below, at pp. 52-6) observed that Verrucosus’ victory apparently brought an end to the first of Rome’s many Ligurian wars (238 - 233 BC). 

In short, Q. Fabius Maximus Verrucosus almost certainly dedicated the temple to Honos outside Porta Capena as consul for the first time in 233 BC.

We should note here that Lawrence Richardson (referenced below, at p. 244) disputed this identification: he argued that since:

  1. Cicero (our only surviving source) recorded that ‘M. Marcellus’ restored the temple many years after its dedication by ‘Q. Maximus’; and

  2. ‘M. Marcellus’, who is generally identified as M. Claudius Marcellus (cos I 222 BC; died 208 BC), restored it only two decades at the most after its dedication;

it must have been dedicated by Verrucosus’ ancestor, Q. Fabius Maximus Rullianus (cos I, died after 295 BC).  In support of this hypothesis, he pointed out that:

  1. “... when Rullianus, as censor in 304 BC, established the transvectio equitum [an annual parade of the Roman cavalry - see below], he had it start from the temple of Honos ... Had [Rullianus] built the temple, the reason for this would be obvious.”

However, most scholars reject this since there is no evidence that the Romans fought the Ligurians prior to the war of 238 - 233 BC. 

Many of the scholars who accepted Cicero’s testimony that Verrucosus dedicated the temple during the wars with Liguria nevertheless  hypothesised a link between the location temple on the route taken by the annual transvectio equitum and the fact that Verrucosus’ ancestor, Rullianus, had instituted or reformed this procesion in 304 BC it .  For example:

  1. according to Adam Ziokowski (referenced below):

  2. “The original part of the later double temple of Honos et Virtus [outside Porta Capena] was built by ... Verrucosus (cos. I 233 BC) for Honos alone”, (see p. 58); and

  3. “[Verrucosus built it] on the site where the transvectio equitum, established by his [ancestor] Rullianus, entered the city”, (see p. 292) ).

  4. according Eric Orlin (referenced below, at p. 160, note 171 and Appendix I, p. 200), Verrucosus vowed this temple during Ligurian war as consul in 233 BC;

  5. according to Myles McDonnell (referenced below):

  6. “Verrucosus vowed and dedicated the temple in 233 BC, ... [which] had close associations with:

  7. -the Roman cavalry;

  8. -the political-religious ceremonies that honoured it; and

  9. -the family of the Fabii Maximi”, (see p. 216);

  10. “By placing his temple just outside the Porta Capena, on the route of the transvectio equitum, ... [Verrucosus] was positioning his own martial glory in the context of his great ancestor, Fabius Rullianus, who had established the transvectio in 304 BC”, (see pp. 218-9);

  11. according to Anna Clark (referenced below, at p. 67):

  12. “[Verrucosus was] responsible for a vow to Honos, presumably in 233 BC ... This temple to Honos was situated outside Porta Capena, near the temple of Mars.   Both temples are mentioned as the start of the transvectio equitum, which had been reorganised by Verrucosus’ [ancestor], Q. Fabius Maximus Rullianus, as censor in 304 BC”; and

  13. according to Mathieu Jacotot (referenced below):

  14. “It is quite likely that this temple was the result of a vow made by [Verrucosus] during the operations carried out against the Ligurians, in 233 BC, during of his first consulate (at p. 522, my translation); and

  15. “[It is] possible that the transvectio equitum ... was associated in some way in Honos:  although it is not certain that the temple built (constituait) for Honos by [Verrucosus] outside Porta Capena was the starting point [for the procession - see below], it was at least on its route, which had been profoundly modified by Rullianus, [Verrucosus’] ancestor”, (at p. 519, citing Myles McDonnell, my translation).

All of these authors assume that:

  1. Verrucosus had vowed the temple as consul in 233 BC;

  2. his vow had provided the impetus for its foundation; and

  3. he had been influential in the choice of its location. 

Adam Ziokowski (referenced below, at pp. 199-200) was explicit about the implications of these assumptions:

  1. “... there was a world of difference between:

  2. ... Verrucosus' vowing as consul a temple to Honos during the war with the Ligurians; and

  3. the vow he made as dictator [in 217 BC] to Venus Erycina, [when, as Livy (‘History of Rome’, 22: 10: 10) recorded, the Books of Fate had given out that ‘he whose authority in the state was paramount’ should make the vow]. 

  4. In the first case, he acted  on his own initiative, while in the second, he merely did his duty.”

We know in detail the role that Verrucosus played in the foundation of the temple of Venus Erycina:

  1. when he was appointed as dictator after Hannibal’s victories over the Romans in 217 BC, his first act was to advise the Senate that the Sibylline books should be consulted in order to facilitate the propitiation of the gods (‘History of Rome’, 22: 9: 8);

  2. the decemviri reported that (inter alia) temples should be vowed to Venus Erycina and to Mens (‘History of Rome’, 22: 9: 8;

  3. Verrucosus vowed the temple to Venus Erycina because the Books of Fate had given out that ‘he whose authority in the state was paramount’ should make the vow, while the temple to Mens was vowed by the praetor Titus Otacilius (‘History of Rome’, 22: 10: 10); and

  4. Verrucosus and Otacilius dedicated the respective temples as duoviri aedi dedicandae in 215 BC (‘History of Rome’, 23: 31: 9).

As Ziolkowski pointed out (above), the formal position in this case was that the Senate had initiated these foundations following the consultation of the Sibylline books: Verrucosus and Otacilius had merely carried out the roles that the Senate had allotted to them.  However, Cicero is our only surviving source for Verrucosus’ involvement in the foundation of the temple of Honos outside Porta Capena, and all that he recorded was that Verrucosus dedicated it in an unknown capacity during the war with the Ligurians (which lasted from 238 to 233 BC).  However, we have no direct information as to:

  1. whether or not he vowed the temple; and

  2. if he did, whether he was acting on his own initiative or at the behest of the Senate.

The view that Verrucosus vowed the temple in battle (and thus, on his own initiative) is based on circumstantial evidence.  For example, Eric Orlin (referenced below, at p. 45) observed that,  statistically speaking:

  1. “... vows made by generals on campaign are the most frequently means by which new temples were built in Rome ...”

and he pointed out (at p. 188) that:

  1. “... examples of individuals [or their relatives] dedicating their own temples ... are clearly more numerous than those [of temples vowed by individuals that were subsequently] dedicated by non-relatives.”

Mathieu Jacotot (referenced below, at p. 522) applied observations such as these explicitly to the case of the temple under consideration here:

  1. “About 60% of the new temples built in Rome followed vows made during difficult periods and especially during wars.  Commanders could dedicate a temple to a god either before a battle, to ensure victory or after a victory, to thank a deity of his help.  The commander who dedicated a temple [in such circumstances] was also, in general, the one who had made the vow.  Since we know from [Cicero (above)] that it was [Verrucosus] who dedicated the temple [of Honos outside Porta Capea], it was undoubtedly he who had vowed it.”

In this scenario, there would be three possibilities:

  1. Verrucosus might have vowed and dedicated the temple in 233 BC (as Myles McDonnell asserted), although that would imply that its construction was completed within months;

  2. he might have vowed it as consul in 233 BC and dedicated it (for example, as consul for the second time in 228 BC or as a duovir aedibis dedicandae in a year in which he did not hold a magistracy,

  3. although scenarios of this kind would conflict with Cicero’s testimony that the dedication had taken place during the Ligurian war (which ended with Verrucosus’ triumph in 233 BC); or

  4. he might have vowed it as curile aedile (a post that he had held at an unknown date before his first consulship) and dedicated it as consul in 233 BC.  

However, none of our surviving sources illuminate the circumstances in which the decision to build this temple was made, and there remains the possibility that this temple (like the  temple of Venus Erycina, which Verrucosus vowed as dictator in 217 BC and dedicated as duovir aedis dedicandae in 215 BC), was founded by the Senate.  It is true that we cannot identify any particular emergency that might have triggered such action.  However, it is almost certain that the temple of Flora on the Aventine was vowed in either 241 or 238 BC after the consultation of the Sibylline Books at the time of a drought (see for example, Adam Ziolkowski, referenced below, at pp. 31-4 and Eric Orlin, referenced below, at p. 101 and note 94).

Temple of Honos outside Porta Capena and the Transvectio Equitum

One factor that could indicate that this temple was founded as a result of a vow made by Verrucosus has been touched on above: some scholars suggest that Verrucosus was able to arrange for it to be located on the route of the transvectio equitum, which had been established by his ancestor, Rullianus.  It is now time to look at this claim in more detail.  

According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus (ca. 7 BC):

  1. “There are many monuments at Rome [that commemorate the] extraordinary and wonderful appearance of [the gods Castor and Pollux, who were thought to have led the Roman cavalry charge that routed the Latins at the battle of Lake Regillus in 498 or 496 BC.  These included]:

  2. the temple of Castor and Pollux, which the Romans erected in the Forum at the place where the apparitions of these gods had been seen [before the news of the victory at Lake Regillus had reached Rome];

  3. the adjacent fountain, which bears the names of these gods and which is, still regarded as holy; ... [and]

  4. the costly sacrifices that the people perform each year through their chief priests [on the 15th of July], the day on which they gained this victory.

  5. But, above all these things, there is the procession [the transvectio equitum], which is performed after the sacrifice by those who have a public horse [the equites equo publico] ... They begin their procession from a certain temple of Mars built outside the walls and, going through several parts of the city and the Forum, they pass by the temple of Castor and Pollux ...”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 6: 13: 4).

However, as mentioned above, another tradition attributed the institution the transvectio equitum to Rullianus:

  1. Livy (ca. 25 BC) recorded that, as censor in 304 BC, Rullianus:

  2. “ ... instituted the transvectio equitum on the 15th of July”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 46: 15); and

  3. the now-unknown author of ‘De viris illustribus urbis Romae (32: 3, 4th century AD) added that the parade, as instituted by Rullianus, started at the temple of Honos (presumably outside Porta Capena) and ended on the Capitol.

As Caillan Davenport (referenced below, at p. 40) pointed out, a number of scholars have reconciled these two traditions by plausibly arguing that Rullianus did not not invent this tradition but rather:

  1. “... transformed the parade from a celebration for the [entire] Roman cavalry to one exclusively for the equites equo publico [those equestrians/equites who were given a horse at pubic expense].”

Since the temple of Honos at Porta Capena was dedicated some 70 years after Rullianus’ censorship, it clearly did not mark the starting point of the re-instituted parade: Caillan Davenport(referenced below, at p. 381) suggested that, at this stage, the participants:

  1. “... assembled outside the walls at the temple Mars on the Via Appia  [as recorded by Dionysius], as if they were embarking on a military campaign.”

The procession would thus subsequently pass the temple of Honos before entering the city through Porta Capena, and this temple might have become the starting point (as recorded in the ‘De viris illustribus urbis Romae’) at the time of its dedication or at some time thereafter. 

It is therefore reasonable to consider whether the fact that the temple was located on the route of the transvectio equitum provides any evidence for the hypothesis that Verrucosus had vowed it in battle.  In my view, this is not the case for two reasons:

  1. The ‘De viris illustribus urbis Romae’ (4th century AD) is the only only surviving source that explicitly associates the temple with the parade. It is therefore hard to justify the claim made (for example) by Myles McDonnell (referenced below, at p. 216) that the temple:

  2. “... had close associations with the Roman cavalry, with the political-religious ceremonies that honoured it, and with the family of the Fabii Maximi”.

  3. As we shall see, the surviving evidence points instead to a close association with the family of the Claudii Marcelli from at least 211 BC.

  4. In any case, even if Verrucosus had vowed the temple, we cannot assume that he would have exerted any influence as to its location: as Eric Orlin (referenced below, at p. 139, note 94) observed:

  5. “... we know absolutely nothing about the process by which the site was chosen for a new temple.”  

Original Temples of Honos: Conclusions

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the cult of Honos is the fact that it was introduced to Rome at two separate sites, each located outside a city gate, in the 3rd century BC:

  1. it is usually assumed that the cult was first established outside Porta Collina, and that the temple there was erected at public expense, perhaps at a moment of tension during the First Punic War (264 - 241 B); and

  2. the second temple, which was founded in unknown circumstances outside Porta Capena, was dedicated by Verrucosus during the Romans’ war in Liguria in 239 - 233 BC.

Both of these temples were, or were probably, subsequently associated with Virtus:

  1. as we shall see, during the Second Punic War (218 - 203 BC), M. Claudius Marcellus began the construction of  a temple of Virtus next to the temple of Honos at Porta Capena just before his death in 208 BC, and his homonymous son dedicated it in 205 BC; and

  2. as we have seen, the discovery of an inscription (CIL VI 31061) near Porta Collina, which came from the base of a statue of Virtus and probably dated to the 2nd century BC, indicates that the temple of Honos there might have been subsequently and additionally dedicated to Virtus.

These developments should probably be viewed in the light of the wider development of the Roman cults of divine qualities at about this time: as Anna Clark (referenced below, as p. 58) pointed out:

  1. “Temples vowed to divine qualities appear to have proliferated during the [First and Second] Punic Wars”.

Her chronological list of Roman temples dedicated to divine qualities in this period (at pp. 283-4) records:

  1. four from the First Punic War:;

  2. the temple of Fides on the Capitol (mentioned above);

  3. the temple of Spes in the Forum Holitorium;

  4. the temple of Ops on the Capitol; and

  5. the temple (Jupiter) Libertas on the Aventine; 

  6. to which, she tentatively added the temple of Honos outside Porta Collina (at p. 58);

  7. one from the inter-war period:

  8. the temple of Honos outside Porta Capena ; and

  9. two from the Second Punic War:

  10. the temple of Concordia on the Arx; and

  11. the temple of Mens on the Capitol (mentioned above).

She observed (at p.58) that none of the temples dedicated during the two periods of war:

  1. “... can definitely be assigned to the category of foundations funded by [the spoils of war]”.

It seems to me that, although Clark herself and most other scholars argue that the temple outside Porta Capena differed from the others in this respect, it seems to me that this assertion is open to question. 

In order to take this further, we need to look briefly at the circumstances in which the other temples in this list were founded.  (I have omitted the temple of Ops from this analysis because, as Anna Clark established in Appendix 4, at pp. 300-5, the highly fragmentary and sometimes contradictory evidence for this temple makes  it impossible to reach firm conclusions).

A. Atilius Calatinus and the Temples of Fides and Spes

Cicero mentioned Calatinus in relation to the dedication of two Roman temples:

  1. the temple of Fides on the Capitol (mentioned above); and

  2. a temple of Spes:

  3. “Calatinus was right in deifying Hope (Spes consecrata)”, (‘On the Laws’, 2: 11: 28, translated by Clinton Keyes, referenced below, at p. 405). 

A passage from Tacitus allows:

  1. “The temple of Spes, which had been vowed by Aulus Atilius in [the First Punic War], was [rebuilt after its destruction in 31 BC and] dedicated by Germanicus”, (‘Annals, 2: 49.)

The fasti Praenestini (see under 1st August) locate this temple in the Forum Holitorium.  

Since Calatinus held office during the First Punic War, he can be identified as the man who served:

  1. as consul in 258 BC and praetor in the following year (and the fasti Triumphales record that he celebrated a naval triumph over Sicily and the Carthaginians during his term as praetor);

  2. as consul again in 254 BC; and

  3. as dictator in  249 BC. 

Ti. Sempronius Gracchus and the Temple of (Jupiter) Libertas on the Aventine

According to Livy, in 214 BC (during the Second Punic War) the proconsul T. Sempronius Gracchus secured a victory against a Carthaginian army at Beneventum and, since his army had been made up largely of slaves, to whom he had offered freedom if they should defeat the enemy:

  1. “... on his return to Rome,he ordered a representation of that celebrated day to be painted in the temple of Liberty: his [homonymous] father, the consul of 238 BC], had built and dedicated this temple on the Aventine out of the proceeds of fines”, (‘History of Rome’, 24: 16: 19).

As Adam Ziolkowski (referenced below, at p. 86) pointed out, this indicates that the elder Gracchus had vowed the temple as plebeian aedile in 246 BC (see Robert Broughton, referenced below, at pp. 216-7 for the dates, and note the doubts expressed by Peter Wiseman, referenced below, at p. 92, note 115 about the existence of this temple). 

L. Manlius  and the Temple of Concordia on the Arx

According to Livy, in 216 BC, after the Romans’ catastrophic defeat at Cannae, the Romans:

  1. “ ... were concerned that the contract for the temple of Concord, which the praetor L. Manlius had vowed two years before in Gaul during the mutiny of the soldiers, had hitherto not been let.  Accordingly the Urban Praetor, M. Aemilius, appointed C. Pupius and K. Quinctius Flamininus as duoviri [aedi locandae], and they arranged to have the temple built on the arx”, (‘History of Rome’. 22: 33: 7-8).

According to the fasti Antiates Maiores, on a temple was dedicated on 5th February to 'Concord(iae) in Capit(olio)’.

Dies Natalis of the Temple of Honos at Porta Collina

The pre-Julian fasti Antiates Maiores recorded the dies natalis of  a temple of Honos as 17th July.  Adam Ziolkowski (referenced below, at p. 57) argued that this entry probably related to this temple at Porta Collina, since:

  1. “... the entry ‘Hono[ri]’ in the fasti can only be connected with [a] temple dedicated exclusively to Honos ...”

However, as we shave seen, the temple of Honus and Virtus at the Porta Capena was initially also dedicated exclusively to Honos (albeit that a related temple to Virtus had been added to it by the time of the compilation of the fasti), and many scholars (see, for example, Howard Scullard, referenced below, at p. 165, Myles McDonnell, referenced below, at p. 215 and Anna Clark, referenced below, at pp. 284-5, entries J, K and R) assume that it was the dies natalis of this much better-known the temple that was celebrated on 17th July.  

Temple of Honos at Porta Capena

Site of the temple of Honos et Virtus at Porta Capena

From the website of Digital Augustan Rome; my additions in red (with the numbers taken from the website locations)

As Howard Scullard (referenced below, at p. 165) observed:

  1. “The history of the temple of Honos et Virtus, just outside the Porta Capena, is unusual.”

He then summarised this history as follows (with my explanatory additions in square brackets):

  1. Q. Fabius Maximus Verrucosus [dedicated] a temple to Honos in 233 BC, after his Ligurian campaign;

  2. M. Claudius Marcellus [apparently];

  3. vowed a temple to Honos and Virtus in 222 BC, [after his victory at Clastidium];

  4. renewed this vow in 211 BC, after his capture of Syracuse;

  5. wanted to rededicate the earlier temple of Honos to both deities in 208 BC but, having been forbidden by the pontiffs, restored the old temple of Honos and built a new part for Virtus; and

  6. Marcellus’ homonymous son, [after Marcellus’ death in 208 BC], dedicated the temple to Virtus in 205 BC.

Original Temple of Honos

Marcellus and the Temple(s) of Honos and Virtus 

Unfortunately, this still leaves us wondering (with Richardson):

  1. why Marcellus was able to restore a temple that Richardson characterised as ‘properly belonging to Verrucosus’ while Verrucosus himself was very much alive (a problem that Myles McDonnell acknowledged at p. 217) ; and

  2. why Cicero considered that Marcellus’ restoration of the temple (which, as we shall see, was probably carried out in 211-208 BC) to be multis ante annis (many years before) its putative dedication in ca. 233 BC.

To take this further, we need to look in more detail at the surviving sources for the transvectio equitum.

Cicero is the only surviving source for Verrocusus’ dedication of the temple and pointed out that there are two problems with his testimony in the form in which it has come down to us”

  1. Cicero considered that Marcellus’ restoration of the temple (which, as we shall see, was probably carried out in 211-208 BC); and

  2. even if this is overlooked, perhaps on the grounds that Cicero might originally have written ‘non multis ante annis’: 

  3. “... it would be unusual, if not unthinkable, for [Marcellus] to rebuild a temple properly belonging to [Verrucosus] while [he] was still alive.”

Balbus’ also referred to two more recent interventions:

M. Aemilius Scaurus had ‘recently’ dedicated the temples of both Fides and Mens on the Capitol.   In fact, Cicero must have referred here to the temples’ re-dedication (presumably after their restoration):

As we have seen Calatinus had dedicated the temple of Fides in ca. 250 BC.

According to Livy, the temple of Mens had been:

vowed in 217 BC by the praetor T. Otacilius Crassus following the consultation of the Sibylline Books (‘History of Rome’, 2:; 10: 10);

built under the direction of the urban prefect, M. Aemilius (‘History of Rome’, 22: 9: 11); and

dedicated in 215 BC by T. Otacilius Crassus, who had been appointed as duovir for the purpose (‘History of Rome’, 23: 31: 9).

According to Plutarch (‘On the Fortune of the Romans’, 5), Scaurus lived at the time of the Cimbrian Wars (113–101 BC): he would therefore have been the consul of 115 BC, who (according to the fasti Triumphales) triumphed in that year over the ‘Carnian Gauls’ and also served as censor in 109 BC.

Katharine Breen (referenced below, at p. 41) observed that:

“Balbus bases his argument ... in part on the social position of those who support these cults, naming prominent citizens who have recently paid to renovate or construct shrines to [Fides, Mens, Virtus and Honus] as evidence of the bona fides of these divinities.  Pointing a renovated temple that was evidently visible from the portico of Cotta’s mansion, he suggests that the social and architectural fabric of Rome itself authorises the worship of divine personifications [such as Virtus and Honos].”

This is an important observation: Cicero was not primarily concerned with the detail of the history of these temples; he was arguing that  the bona fides of Honos was demonstrated by the fact that one eminent Roman, Q. Maximus, had founded a prominent Roman temple with this dedication and another, M. Marcellus, had restored it many years later.

The ‘M. Marcellus’ who restored Verrucosus’ temple is generally identified as M. Claudius Marcellus (cos I, 222 BC), who (as we shall see) certainly restored this temple (which stood outside Porta Capena) and aded another dedicated to Virtus in 211-8 BC.  However, as Lawrence Richardson (referenced below, at p. 244) pointed out, Cicero specified that the restoration to which he referred had been carried out many years after the temple’s putative dedication in ca. 233 BC.  Richardson therefore suggested that Cicero had more probably confused Q. Fabius Maximus Verrucosus with his great-grandfather, Q. Fabius Maximus Rullianus.  Unfortunately, there are problems with this hypothesis: for example, as Adam Ziolkowski (referenced below, at p. 59) pointed out, none of our surviving sources record that Rullianus either founded this temple or fought against the Ligurians.  Indeed, we might add that he caused consternation in 310 BC when (as consul for the second time) he became the first Roman commander lead an army  through the Ciminian Forest into southern Etruria, which was only some 60 km north of Rome.  I think that there might be another approach to the problem that Richardson raised, which starts with the consideration of the Ciceronian passage that preceded the one under discussion here, in which ‘Balbus’ observed that:

“We see the shrines on the Capitol lately dedicated to ... both [Fides and Mens] by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, and Faith had previously been deified (consecrata) by Aulus Atilius Calatinus”, (‘On the Nature of the Gods’, 2: 61, translated by H. Harris Rackham, referenced below, at p. 181).

Cicero our only surviving source the information that:

A. Atilius Calatinus (cos 258 BC and 254 BC) founded the temple of Fides on the Capitol; and

M. Aemilius Scaurus (cos 115 BC, censor 109 BC) re -dedicated this and the nearby temple of Mens.

However, Cicero’s testimony is particularly reliable since, as Katharine Breen (referenced below, at p. 42) pointed out, Scaurus was one of his clients.  As we have seen, she also observed (at p. 41) that:

“Balbus bases his argument [in favour of the divination of personified concepts in in part on the social position of those who support these cults, naming prominent citizens who have recently paid to renovate or construct shrines to [Fides, Mens, Virtus and Honus] as evidence of the bona fides of these divinities”, (my bold italics).

This might suggest that a later M. Marcellus had restored what was, by then, the important temple of Honos and Virtus outside Porta Capena.

Three of our surviving sources refer to vows that M. Claudius Marcellus (cos I 222 BC) made in relation to temple(s) of Honos and Virtus at Porta Capena:

  1. Cicero referred to Marcellus’ vow to build temples to Honos and Virtus in Rome in his speech of 70 BC as prosecutor in the trial of Verres, the rapacious ex-governor of Sicily.  In the relevant passage, Cicero compared Verres’ despoliation of a temple of Minerva on the island with Marcellus’ (alleged) forbearance in similar circumstances:

  2. “Marcellus, who had vowed that, if he took Syracuse, he would erect two temples at Rome, was unwilling to adorn the temple which he was going to build with [the treasures from this Sicilian temple], which were his by right of capture; Verres, who was bound by no vows to Honour or Virtue, as Marcellus was, but only to Venus and to Cupid, attempted to plunder the temple of Minerva.  The one was unwilling to adorn gods in the spoil taken from gods, the other transferred the decorations of the virgin Minerva to the house of a prostitute”, (‘Against Verres’, 2: 4: 123)

  3. From this, it seems that Marcellus had made vows at some time during his campaign in Sicily in 214 - 211 BC, and that these related to two temples:

  4. Verrucosus’ temple of Honos, which Marcellus vowed to restore; and

  5. a temple of Virtus, which (according to Cicero) Marcellus ‘was going to build’.

  6. Livy (late 1st century BC) recorded that, after his election to his 5th consulship in 208 BC, Marcellus:

  7. “... was detained in Rome by [a number of religious problems, ... one being] that, although he had vowed a temple to Honos and Virtus at Clastidium during the Gallic War [as consul for the 1st time in 222 BC], the pontiffs impediebatus (were impeding) its dedication; for they insisted that unam cellam amplius quam uni deo recte dedicari (one cella could not properly be dedicated to more than one god) ... So, a  temple of Virtus was added.  Even so, the temples were not dedicated by Marcellus himself ”, (‘History of Rome’, 27: 25: 7-10).

  8. In fact, Marcellus was killed in action in 208 BC, and his temple was apparently still undedicated. Valerius Maximus (ca. 30 AD) recorded that:

  9. “... when M. Marcellus, taker first of Clastidium [in 222 BC] and then of Syracuse [in 211 BC], desired, in his 5th consulship [208 BC], to consecrate a temple to Honour and Virtue in due discharge of vows taken, he was obstructed by the College of Pontiffs on the grounds that a single sanctuary could not properly be dedicated to two deities ... The pontifical admonition resulted in Marcellus placing images of Honour and Virtue in two different shrines”, (‘Memorable Deeds and Sayings’, 1: 1; 8, translated by David Shackleton Bailey, referenced below, at p. 21).

It seems that Valerius Maximus reconciled the testimonies of Cicero and Livy by assuming that Marcellus had first vowed a temple to Honos and Virtus in 222 BC and then renewed this vow in ca. 211 BC.  Plutarch (late 1st century AD), who did not mention Marcellus’ vow, recorded that, before he left Rome for his province in 208 BC, Marcellus:

  1. “... wished to dedicate the temple to Honour and Virtue, which he had built out of his Sicilian spoils, but was prevented from doing so by the priests, who insisted that two deities could not occupy a single temple.  He therefore began to build another temple adjoining the first, although he resented the priests' opposition and regarded it as a bad omen”, (‘Life of Marcellus’, 28: 1).

Eric Orin (referenced below, at p. 132) observed that the Greek objects with which Marcellus had adorned his temple:

  1. “...undoubtedly came from [his] manubiae [legitimate spoils of war], and this may have led Plutarch to conclude erroneously, that the temple [itself] was built from manubiae.”

Livy recorded that, in 205 BC, Marcellus’  homonymous son:

  1. “... dedicated the temple of Virtus at the Porta Capena, 17 years after it had been vowed by his father during his first consulate at Clastidium in Gaul”, (‘History of Rome’, 29: 11: 13).

Marcellus, the Temple(s) 0f Honos and Virtus and the Spoils from Syracuse

Polybius (ca. 150 BC) charged that, after the fall of Syracuse:

  1. “The Romans ... decided, for this [now unspecified] reason, to transfer all these [now unspecified] objects to their own city and leave nothing behind.... it would have been possible for them to leave everything that did not contribute to [their military] strength,  ... and to add to the glory of their native city by adorning it, not with paintings and reliefs, but with dignity and magnanimity”, (‘Histories’, 9: 10: 12).

Since Syracuse was the first Greek city of any importance that had been taken by Rome, it was perhaps inevitable that Marcellus took some of its priceless works of art to Rome: is seems that, according to Livy, this enabled his enemies to charge that:

  1. “Should king Hiero [of Syracuse (died 215 BC)], that most faithful friend of the Roman empire, rise from the shades, how could either Syracuse or Rome be shown to him, when, after beholding his half-demolished and plundered native city, he would see ... the spoils of his country in the vestibule of the city, and almost in the very gates of Rome?”, (‘History of Rome’, 26: 32: 4).

Since a traveller from Sicily would have entered Rome through Porta Capena, it seems that some of these spoils  were housed in the temple of Honos, and this is confirmed by Livy’s lament that:

  1. “Marcellus, after the capture of Syracuse, having settled the other affairs in Sicily with so much honour and integrity as not only to add to his own renown, but also to the majesty of the Roman people, conveyed to Rome the ornaments of the city, together with the statues and pictures with which Syracuse abounded.  These were certainly spoils taken from enemies, and acquired according to the laws of war; but this was the origin of the [Romans’] admiration of the products of Grecian art, and [of the abandon] with which, at present, all [captured] places, both sacred and profane, are despoiled; which at last recoiled upon the Roman gods, and first upon that very temple which was so choicely adorned by Marcellus.  For foreigners were in the habit of visiting the temples dedicated by [the younger] Marcellus near Porta Capena, on account of their splendid ornaments of this description, of which [only] a very small portion can [now] be found.”, (‘History of Rome’, 25: 40: 3).

From this, it seems that many of the spoils from Syracuse had been used to adorn Marcellus’ temple(s).

As we have seen, Cicero, in his speech against Verres, claimed that Marcellus had refrained from despoiling the temples of Sicily.   Elsewhere in this speech, he portrayed Marcellus as a paradigm of moderation:

  1. “There is still one city, Syracuse, the richest and fairest of all, the tale of whose plundering I will bring forward and relate to you ... There can hardly be any among you who has not often heard ... how Syracuse was captured by M. Marcellus.  Compare, then, this time of peace [in which Verres was governor] with that time of war.  Compare the visits of [Verres] with the victory of [Marcellus];

  2. [Verres’] filthy retinue with Marcellus’ invincible army; and

  3. [Verres’] self-indulgence with Marcellus’ self-control:

  4. and you will say that Syracuse was founded by [Marcellus], the man who captured it, and captured by [Verres], the man who took it over as a well-ordered community.  ... [I will say more later on] of how:

  5. the market-place of Syracuse, which was saved from the stain of bloodshed when Marcellus entered the city as conqueror, ran red with the blood of innocent Sicilians when Verres arrived there as governor; and

  6. the harbour of Syracuse, which was closed  ... against the fleets of both Rome and Carthage [at the time of Marcellus], was free and open to a Cilician galley and its pirate crew when Verres was governor.

  7. I say nothing of the rape of free-born persons and the forcing of married women [during Verres’ three years as governor], outrages that were not committed in the days when [Marcellus took the city], however much the passions of war, military licence ... and the right of the conqueror might provoke them”, (‘Against Verres’, 2: 4: 116, translated by Leonard Greenwood, referenced below, at pp. 425-7)

Furthermore, as Corbin Golding (referenced below, at p. 5) pointed out:

  1. “Surprisingly, the ... Syracusans themselves admired their conqueror, [Marcellus], as a quasi-divine figure, indicating that stories of his benevolence were not merely propaganda ... .  [Elsewhere in ‘Against Verres’] Cicero mentions that statues of Marcellus that had been erected in Syracuse) ...  [and that] a festival celebrating Marcellus was ... observed on the anniversary of the day he captured the city ...”

RRC 329

The issuer of these denarii, LENT.MAR.F, is to be identified as P. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, the biological son of M. Claudius Marcellus (who, as we shall see, served as Legate to Marius at Aquae Sextiae in 102 BC) and brother of M. Claudius Marcellus Aeserninus: Cicero names all three of them in a passage on orators:

“Marcus [Claudius] Marcellus, the father of [M. Claudius Marcellus] Aeserninus, was not esteemed a pleader, but was a ready and not unpractised speaker, as was also his son, Publius [Cornelius] Lentulus [Marcellinus]”, (‘Brutus’, 136, translated by George Hendrickson, in Hendrickson and Hubbell, referenced below, at p. 121).

Jillian Mitchell (referenced below, at p. ) summarised the history of the temple over a longer time frame:

  1. “A sanctuary built to Honos was erected in 234 BCE by Q. Fabius Maximus, while the one to Virtus joined it in 208 in spite of the opposition of the Senate, due to the generosity of M. Claudius Marcellus the conqueror of Syracuse who richly endowed the temple with treasure from that city. His son dedicated it in 205.  It was restored by Vespasian and decorated by two Roman artists, Cornelius Pinus and Attius Priscus and is last mentioned in the fourth century (Not.Reg.1).  Symmachus mentions this temple in a letter to Ausonius in 378 AD, [in which] he states ... :

  2. “Our ancestors acted well and wisely ... when they situated the temples to Honos and Virtus together with a twin facade, recognising ... that, wherever the merits of virtue are found, there are [also found] the rewards of honour’”, (Letters of Symmachus, 1: 20).

Carsten Hjort Lange (referenced below), in his review of a book by Maggie Popkin :

  1. “[Popkin] accepts, however, that some manubial monuments were off the route itself. Her main example is Marcellus’ Temple to Honos and Virtus (52, cf. 9), but this monument may have been on the triumphal route after all: M. Claudius Marcellus’ 211 BCE ovation and Alban Mount triumph may be a precedent to Caesar’s ovation in 44 and the joint ovation of Antonius and Young Caesar in 40 BCE, also in terms of the point of entry into the city, most likely through the Porta Capena. There is no evidence stating that the ovation had to go through the Porta Triumphalis. We cannot be entirely sure on the matter, but whatever we make of this, the Porta Capena certainly had triumphal connotations. 3 But once again we need to be very careful: in fact, the temple was vowed in 222 BCE at Clastidium (Livy 27.25.7-10) and later renewed after his capture of Syracuse (Livy 27.25.7-10; 29.11.13; Val. Max. 1.1.8). Importantly, at the time the temple was vowed after Syracuse, Marcellus thought he would be granted a triumph. “

Marius’ Temple of Honus et Virtus (ca. 100 BC)

The elogium (CIL XI 1831) in the Forum Augusti recorded that:

  1. “... as victor,  Marius built the temple of Honos et Virtus out of the spoils taken from the Cimbri and Teutones”, (my translation).

These victories belong to his 5th consulship in 101 BC, and the temple was presumably built soon thereafter.  Vitruvius made two references to this temple:

  1. “The peripteral [temple style has] ...  six columns in front and six at the back, and eleven on either side (counting in the angle columns).  Now these columns are to be so placed that there is all round  ... [space that] provides a walk round the cella of the temple, such as there is at the temple of Jupiter Stator by Hermodorus in the Portico of Metellus and at the temple of Honor and Virtus, built without a posticum by Mucius, ad Mariana”, (‘On Architecture’, 3: 2: 5);

  2. “Not only do we miss [written accounts of the work of the Roman architect] ... Cossutius but also from C. Mucius, who, in the temple of Honus et Virtus erected by Marius, ... finished off the symmetries of the sanctuary, the columns and the entablature, in accordance with the legitimate rules of art.  If only it had been of marble , ... it would have a name among the buildings of the first and highest class”, (‘On Architecture’, 7 (preface): 17);

both translated by Frank Granger (referenced below, at Volime I, p. 168 and Volume II, p. 79 respectively).  No archeological remains of this temple survive.  However, Festus, in his summary of the lexicon Verrius Flaccus, noted that:

  1. “C. Marius built his temple of Honos et Virtus lower than the others because, if it had happened to obstruct the public auspices, the augurs might have required its demolition”, (‘De verborum significatu’ 466-8 L, my translation).

Elisha Ann Dumser (in this page of the website Digital Augustan Rome) thus located the temple on the Velia, probably on the later site of the Temple of Venus and Roma.  She also noted that Vitruvius’ reference to its location ‘ad Mariana’ referred to a war-trophy  that Marius had erected near the house that he had built in the Forum  in 98 BC.


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